My Turn: No end in sight for tax assessments
The Tahoe Forest Hospital District board appears to be headed toward subjecting us taxpayers with yet another burden. They want lots of money to do more work on the hospital. In and of itself the cause may be justified. Apparently at least a portion of it is another state-mandated program with no funding. And, of course, while they are at it, might as well add a few more million onto the bond measure for other things they want to do. What happens if no local funding is available? I suspect the state might help out. I am sure that there are many hospital districts in less affluent areas where they could not pass a bond to fulfill the mandate. What then?I am 71 years old and semi-retired. I feel at the mercy of the special districts who keep wanting more money from us. My property tax bill lists eight voter approved special taxes. The most recent one is the Sierra College bond. All the rest are school district assessments except one for the swimming pool. There is one school district assessment which, due to my age, is not charged to me. The Truckee Donner Public Utility District is raising rates 6 percent or more per year and now wants to charge us extra to install water meters. The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District wants to build a new center and offer more amenities. Surely they will be needing to float a bond measure for that. There seems to be no end in sight. While I would like to see senior citizen deferments, since most of us live on relatively fixed incomes, there are other sub-populations in our area who also feel the economic pressures of survival. Many have moved from here to Reno where the cost of living is significantly cheaper. These poor folks now have to commute to Truckee to work spending a significant portion of the savings on fuel and adding to the global-warming problem in the process. While there is community concern regarding those who live and work here with lower-end incomes, the barrage of new assessments and fees continues unabated. And who gets hurt the worst? Of course those who can least afford it and who are important and essential contributors to the welfare and economics of our community.I urge the hospital board of directors to reconsider their bond idea. I urge special districts to communally investigate more cost-efficient practices including mergers of special districts, sharing of equipment and space as well as personnel. Our community will increasingly suffer if all but the well-to-do can live here. And it must be a community-wide effort. Rolf Godon is a Truckee resident.